Tonight I am in Chicago for the premiere of my new solo piano work, Inner Truth, by the wonderful pianist, Daniel Pesca, Artist-in-Residence and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Chicago. Inner Truth came about as part of a larger commissioning project honoring the 2017 centennial birth year of the great Korean composer Isang Yun by the fantastic pianist, Eunmi Ko.
Yun is one of the more unique voices in 20th-century music, with work that seeks to join his very personal conception of the traditional music and traditional instruments of his home country with the modernist techniques he embraced when studying and working in Germany starting in the 1950s. In learning more about Yun’s music, I came across a wonderful interview he did with Bruce Duffie in 1987 that included a particular quote that stood out for me:
“Music is the expression of an inner truth, and this inner truth is naturally a mirror of today’s events.”
I was so struck by these words—by how clear and honest they are—and so in writing my work, I wanted to reflect upon this idea of “inner truth”, something which might be rather quiet or hidden or elusive at the start, but which later emerges as a strong, bold, unwavering force–a force which was always with us from the very beginning. My piece seeks to capture these two sides of this primal energy.
Chicago friends, please join us at PianoForte for a concert to include music of my former teacher, Augusta Read Thomas, my mentor, Bernard Rands, my friend, Daniel Pesca, plus Carter, Berg, and Janacek!